Two events will compete for your soul tomorrow.
Will you succumb to the deep-fried Oreos at Rochesterfest, or will you heed the call of the juicer at the new downtown event Urban Al Fresco?
If you like, you can hit up both. But you may walk away from Urban Al Fresco feeling a little lighter.
Focus on healthy options
Urban Al Fresco begins tomorrow and will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Friday for the rest of the summer on Peace Plaza’s east lawn.
I think of Urban Al Fresco like Thursdays on First’s younger, health-nut sister: It takes place on a smaller scale and offers a greater concentration of healthy choices for body and mind.
“Urban Al Fresco is a unique event encouraging healthy lifestyles in the downtown district,” said Gabriel Yeager, the event’s marketing and event manager. “Our primary focus is to feature local restaurants serving fresh and healthy lunch menus, as well as celebrating the rich diversity of Rochester through international menu options.”
The mix of 12 food vendors includes some who haven’t served downtown before, including Johnny Mango’s Pita Cafe and Tonic. Other vendors represent some familiar and new, including First Avenue Food Court’s Wabi Sabi and Essential Cold Press Juices, as well as the People’s Food Co-op, Catering By Design, Fiesta Mexicana and zPizza.
Yeager said he hopes the event not only will draw many downtown employees but also Mayo Clinic patients who are under dietary restrictions.
“Some menu items were created to serve the dietary needs of Mayo Clinic patients,” he said. “At Urban Al Fresco, for the first time these healthy menu items will be offered together.”
Also, Twigs will be featuring a gluten-free lunch menu, and Tonic owner Nicci Sylvester will roll in on a new set of wheels — a car in the shape of a giant orange, which she’s calling her “mobile juice lab.” There, she can make you fresh-squeezed lemonade with strawberries. Perfect for a hot summer day.
Inspiring all kinds of wellness
At Urban Al Fresco, it’s not just the food that’s healthy.
The event will feature a midday light exercise activity, such as Tai Chi, dancing or yoga, as well as live music for a (healthy) festival vibe.
“From yoga to meditation, Urban Al Fresco will leave you feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to take on the rest of your day,” Yeager said. “It’s the perfect way to end your workweek.”
Urban Al Fresco starts tomorrow, June 20, on the east lawn of the Peace Plaza. The event will be held every Friday through the summer from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Check it out tomorrow, and let me know what you think.